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« The “We” in Installation Art | Main | “My Real Job is Being an Artist” is here »
Wednesday
Oct212015

Murky Starts & Sluggish Finishes or Crisp Actions?

The Evolution of an Art Career

Estimated time to read this tip: 1½ minutes

My art studio and workout area are in the same room, so when I’m making art (standing up), I’m reminded of making sure to fit in a daily workout.

The treadmill is something to "get through" for the sake of cardio. But I look forward to Pilates because it’s all about fluid body motion, stretching and strengthening. There are so many little details to think about that there’s no room for random thoughts. I call it meditation in motion.

My Pilates teacher noticed that in certain leg exercises, I didn’t make the full leg extension to complete the move. I was rushing into the next extension before I completed the first. That meant that the next one was not set up right. The effect was like dominoes.

And the dominoes fell into place for me about taking complete actions instead of letting a few tasks ride the daily list (not surprisingly, ones that are less creative).  I fluidly move through some of my work tasks, and there are others that feel like they need a running start before a hurdle.

If you don’t do Pilates, think about walking.

In fact get up now.

Take a long step forward with your left leg.

Now take a short step forward with your right. Think very carefully before you take the next step…

Murky starts and sluggish finishes mean you are wasting energy instead of maintaining relative balance and momentum in your art business.

Not so for Franck de las Mercedes:

The Priority Box project was always just an experiment! I never expected to be painting peace boxes ten years later, or be in Times Square but the most rewarding thing is that they do continue in the schools as a teaching tool.
 
The interest in the project continues to grow, but it also has grown into a movement with a life of it’s own - to the point where I am being contacted by students who have already made their own box.
 
A teacher told me that one student was so inspired by the project that he went out and bought flowers and went to the park where he gave them out.

I’m still sending the remaining requests and will continue to offer special edition boxes while supplies last. I’m also still open to talks and visiting schools.
 
So it hasn’t ended, but I felt it was time for me to stop painting them and finally move on to other projects that I’ve kept in the back burner, that I am getting ready to start exploring. (Read the full interview here.)

To invigorate your art business with only projects, people and products that makes everyone’s heart sing, ask yourself these three questions to make crisp decisions about what to keep, what to let go and how to feel good more of the time.

1. What are you doing now that gives you joy or other desirable results?

Action hint: Do as much or more.

2. What are you doing now that pains you but gives you desirable results?

Action hint: Do in short less-pain bursts or find someone who will do this for you.

3. What are you doing now that pains you and gives you no observable results?

Action hint: Let affected people know that you are no longer doing this. And, of course, no longer do this.

Now, what other areas of art, life or marketing will you explore with the time, money and energy you free up?

Could you use some help making crisper decisions and actions as a working artist?

The first 15 minutes is on me.


See what Franck has to say in my new book:

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